Last month, Driveclub and MotorStorm series developer Evolution Studios was shuttered by Sony, and the entire staff was laid off. The company said it would attempt to place some of the affected staff in other positions in different teams, but admitted that the move did “risk losing high caliber staff.”
Although the future didn’t seem bright for the developers at the British studio at the time, now the studio’s staff will be joining forces with another big name in racing games. Today Codemasters, the developer behind the Grid, Dirt, and Formula One series of games, announced in a post on its blog that it will be expanding by hiring the former Evolution studios team. The move will become official on April 25.
“The success of F1 2015 and Dirt Rally over the last 12 months has re-positioned the company for growth,” Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier said in the blog post announcing the hiring. “The addition of the Evolution team to our studio group will allow us to scale our business and strengthen our leadership as the world’s premier racing game developer.”
It’s important to note that Codemasters has only hired the talent behind the studio, not the studio name or its IP. That means that we won’t be seeing Codemasters-developed Driveclub or MotorStorm sequels, but it doesn’t necessarily prevent “spiritual successors” to those games.
Former Evolution studio head and co-founder Mick Hocking will be taking on the position of VP of Product Development at Codemasters. This will make him responsible for all of Codemasters’ studios, including the former Evolution team.
“I’m delighted to be joining Codemasters at such an exciting time in the company’s growth. We have a shared passion for racing, a desire to innovate and a determination to create the best racing games and build the biggest racing community in the market,” Hocking said. “I’m very much looking forward to working with so many of the world’s greatest racing developers, on new IP as well as exciting franchises including Dirt, Grid, Micro Machines, and the Formula One games.”
While this is undoubtedly good news for the former Evolution staff, it’s also good news for fans of the studio’s games who might want to see them on non-Sony consoles, as the team will now be working on multi-platform games.